Falcon 9 launches

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 12 noon EDT (1600 GMT) Sunday, September 29. (credit: SpaceX webcast)

As NASA was holding a press conference late this morning to discuss the successful berthing of the Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station, SpaceX was making its contribution […]

Cygnus captured by the ISS

Cygnus captured by the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm. (credit: NASA TV)

While it was a week later than planned, Sunday morning’s arrival of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s first Cygnus spacecraft went even better than planned. The spacecraft smoothly passed through a series of demonstrations as it maneuvered ever closer to the station. In fact, the […]

More on Virgin’s Mojave event, and Branson’s “cheap” space plans

Yesterday, Sir Richard Branson blogged about Wednesday’s Virgin Galactic customer event in Mojave, where several hundred future Virgin astronauts got to hear about the progress the company has made and future plans but, due to winds, not see a test flight of SpaceShipTwo. (Interestingly, Branson’s post says about 300 customers attended the event, while the […]

Super (September Space) Sunday

Sunday is shaping up to be a particularly big milestone for commercial spaceflight. On Thursday, Orbital Sciences announced it is now planning a second attempt to berth its Cygnus cargo spacecraft with the International Space Station in the early morning hours of Sunday. Assuming its plans are approved by NASA, Orbital will command Cygnus to […]

Virgin puts on a (no) show for its customers

Attendees at Virgin Galactic’s customer event in Mojave Wednesday didn’t see SpaceShipTwo fly, but did at least get a group photo with Sir Richard Branson. (credit: Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galactic)

For months, there had been speculation about what Virgin Galactic might do at an event for its customers in Mojave in September. An engine test […]

Shatner doesn’t want to fly in space? That’s not news.

You might have seen a surprising revelation in the news in the last few days: William Shatner, the actor best known as Captain James T. Kirk from the Star Trek franchise, turned down an opportunity to fly on Virgin Galactic because… he’s afraid of flying? It generated headlines around the globe, primarily in tabloids and […]

Cygnus arrival delayed until this weekend

All had been going well for Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft since its launch Wednesday on the company’s Antares rocket. The mission, though, hit a snag Sunday, when Cygnus made contact with the ISS and received data from it. There was a “data format discrepancy,” in the words of an Orbital statement, between the data […]

Falcon 9 static fire clears way for late September launch

“Completed rocket static fire with all systems green this time. Launch window opens in 10 days,” Elon Musk tweeted Thursday evening, providing a link to the video above of the brief static fire of the Falcon 9’s first stage at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Musk had previously said that the need to […]

Cygnus is on its way to the ISS

An Antares rocket, carrying a Cygnus cargo spacecraft, lifts off Wednesday from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia, en route to the ISS. (credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft is now on its way to becoming the second commercial cargo vehicle to service the International Space Station. The Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus […]

Falcon launch slips to the end of the month

There’s been no formal announcement from SpaceX, but it appears that the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch that had slipped from Sunday is now postponed to the end of this month. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted this early Sunday:

Will do another static fire of rocket to make sure all is good & AF needs to […]